Vaginal dryness commonly affects premenopausal and postmenopausal women though a woman can not necessarily have adequate vaginal lubrication for sex at any age.
Because of the dryness the vaginal opening becomes itchy and painful. The vaginal intercourse further makes the pain intensify adding to discomfort of woman with vaginal dryness.
Vaginal walls are always coated with a layer of moisture. With aging and the changes in the level of hormone during menstrual cycle this moisture layer gradually becomes weak and inconsistent.
Vaginal lubrication mostly comprises clear liquid seeping through the walls of the blood vessels that encircle the vagina.
The sexual stimulation increases blood flow into pelvic organs leading to release of more vaginal liquid for lubrication.
But this process of lubrication becomes disrupted due to hormonal changes that take place during menopausal phase, delivery of child and breast-feeding.
Factors leading to vaginal dryness
Vaginal dryness can be caused by a variety of factors. Appropriate solution of vaginal dryness lies in accurate determination of its causes.
Following are the factors which may lead to vaginal dryness:
Low estrogen levels
The drop in the level of estrogen-female hormone- is considered to be the major cause behind vaginal dryness.
The vaginal tissue remains healthy and elastic with proper vaginal lubrication because of estrogen. Estrogen also provides natural defense against infections in vagina and urinary tract.
However, with the drop in the level of estrogen, the natural defense also decreases affecting the elasticity of vaginal tissue and making the vaginal tissue weak.
The level of estrogen can drop due to menopause or premenopause, child delivery, breast-feeding, cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, immune disorders, smoking and use of medications.
Sjogren’s syndrome is described as an autoimmune disease in which your own immune system causes harm to the healthy tissue resulting in vaginal dryness in addition to showing symptoms of dryness in eye and mouth.
Use of douche for cleaning vagina through ejection of liquid within it causes imbalance in the natural vaginal chemicals. This leads to inflammatory vaginal condition called vaginitis and vaginal dryness.